Star sprinter Battaash may head straight to the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot this summer.
For the second season running, the Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old was a brilliant winner of the King George Stakes at Goodwood last August – but disappointed when odds-on for the Nunthorpe three weeks later.
He also failed to run up to his best when defending his crown in the Prix de l’Abbaye on his final start of 2018, but Hills believes his charge is in rude health as he approaches his return to action.
Hills said: “Battaash is in really good form, and I think he’s done much better from four to five than he did from three to four.
“His weight is good, and he looks a picture. He didn’t really get his summer coat until after Royal Ascot last year, whereas this year it’s coming through already.”
Battaash found only Blue Point too strong in last year’s King’s Stand, and a mouth-watering rematch looks to be on the cards.
“Whether he’ll run before Royal Ascot, I’m not sure. We’re all gearing him up for the King’s Stand,” Hills added.
“There aren’t many options for him before that. It’s probably the Haydock race he won last year (Temple Stakes) or nothing.”